High Court upholds PILs against VIDC

The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court (HC) rejected Wednesday objections by Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) to two PILs against irregularities in projects in the region.

Local organisation Jan Manch led by lawyer Anil Killor has filed one such petition, while another has been filed by Mohan Karmore alleging delay in completion of projects due to state apathy.

Both pleas seek directions to the state government to complete the projects in a time-bound manner. Jan Manch has also sought a CBI inquiry, action against erring VIDC officials and blacklisting of errant contractors.

VIDC argued the PILs were not maintainable since HC could not order a CBI inquiry without the petitioners going to police and the magistrate.

About other demands, VIDC contended these must be first made to the government. "The petitioners never approached the government," it said.

"There is always an opportunity for the government to rectify mistakes. The court can always devise own procedure when fundamental rights are at stake. The law doesn't prohibit effective procedure or tool to deal with such situations when a PIL isn't an adversarial litigation," the bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Arun Chaudhary said.

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